Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Scenes from a move to Toronto

Two hours to Binghamton on Tuesday
Overnight at a hotel outside Binghamton
Almost five hours, including three rest stops, to reach the Canadian border
Ninety minutes at Immigration while they processed paperwork for us
Another almost two hours to reach our new home in Toronto
And we’re here, thank Gd, with a roof over our heads, a phone and an Internet connection, and plumbing that will work really soon, I’m told.
And we said tefillat haderech this time, I’m glad to say.

Unfortunately, I completely forgot that I had purchased French-lesson CDs for the car ride; they were buried under tefillin, Boost, a davening jacket, sefarim and computer equipment on the front side of my car. So some of the culture upgrade will need to hold off.

Still, along the way we discovered new cultural heights in our children’s education:

Parent: Yes, they say Zed instead of Z in Canada.
Child: That means our name will sound even funnier in Canada… Torch-zed-iner?

Parent: Did you know it was 400 miles from Allentown in Pennsylvania to Wiliam Allen Road in Toronto?
Child: Abba, that can’t be!
Parent: What do you mean?
Child: They switched to kilometers in the middle!

Child, pointing to bilingual sign in the Immigration office: I know that the one that starts with “Le” is in Canadian.

Despite the lack of French CDs, I did have plenty to ponder en route.

I've been mulling Hosheia (Hosea); I expect to start a series on Trei Asar after Succot, starting from the top with that oft-neglected navi (prophet). I think people see the whole Gomer bat Divlayim sequence and get scared off, but it's a book of fascinating depth, particularly in its observations on relationships - Spouses, Parents/Children, Leaders/Followers, Gd/Nation.

There is parental mercy on children, and parental cruelty toward children.

There are expectations and betrayal, and the question of who apologizes first.

And on that theme of apologies - What constitutes true repentance?

Korbanot fit in, as well - what constitutes a proper gift?

And beneath it all - May we truly compare our relationship with Gd to a human relationship, or is that all just over-simplified metaphor?

Yes, this should be very interesting.


  1. Clearly, the adventures we take with our children give us new perspectives so many ways.

    Are you going to change the pronunciation of your name, then?

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  3. Welcome to Toronto. :)

    And lol, that's cute.

  4. B'Hatzlacha in your new temporary home in Toronto.

    I had a wonderful three years there on Sshlichutm Toronto is a very warm, wonderful community.

    IY"H your next move will be to Eretz Yisrael

  5. Sounds like the beginning of a great adventure. Time to start stocking up on looneys and tooneys.

  6. Hatzlacha in every way!

  7. Hatzlacha!

    But I'm confused - because some town in northern PA doesn't have the right high schools, your blog readers have to suffer and not get a drasha before shabbos? Not fair!

  8. Thanks, everyone, for your kind wishes!

    Fruma - Not a chance; it took me years to learn the current one.

    Lion - To understand the bilingual packages.

    Michael - Thanks. Perhaps once things settle down I'll post derashah-like ideas before Shabbos...

  9. TRH- don't worry, all the stuff is bilingual, and by reading the same font (Free!/Gratuit!) on the cereal boxes, you'll learn the French version of the stuff perfectly well, albeit without the pronounciation...but fear not, you don't need French in Ontario..oh, and if you go to Ottawa, you'll see how the city's streetlights are different on either side of the Quebec/Ontario border....but in any case, welcome to the smog.

    In Toronto, btw, Russian is a plus, as is Hebrew. There are huge communities of Israeli and Russian Jews here...French is not so necessary.